While the main course of this particular bento is a Mahi Mahi burger on sprouted bread with red onion and greens, I would like to draw your attention to the quinoa salad on the right. This salad is absolutely phenomenal and allows for you to use a lot of vegetables you may have in your fridge that are waiting ever so patiently in little sticky produce bags to magically turn into a pile of brown, indistinguishable sediment! It has the potential to become a solution to this first world problem.
On the Trader Joe’s website, the recipe is called “The Edamame Energy Bowl.” I made it for a potluck tea party because it’s savory and colorful, making it a nice contrast with cakes and cookies that are almost always in excess at a potluck. I wanted to make something vegan that could feed a group of people because my friend Jill, the hostess of the tea, is vegan and I wouldn’t want to exclude her from eating something in her own house. Her favorite thing in the world is confetti and upon looking at the gorgeous colors of all the veggies in the salad, I realized that it had the same panoply of shades one would find in confetti! So I changed it to a more appropriate descriptor and it was enjoyed by all (at least to my knowledge).
The Edamame Energy Bowl or The Vegan Confetti Salad
- 1 package frozen shelled edamame
- 1 cup red quinoa, cooked (Any quinoa will do; I had a mix of red and white)
- 2 celery ribs, sliced
- 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 2 tbsp Italian parsley
- 1 gala apple, diced
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1 medium lemon (juice only)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Prepare edamame and quinoa in separate pots according to instructions. Chop celery, green onions, parsley, apple, avocado and carrots; set aside. In a small bowl mix together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and sprinkle almonds on top. If preferred chilled, refrigerate an extra 20 minutes before serving.
Jill and I discussed the salad after the party and pitched the idea of using different beans in the salad due to growing concern over the questionable effects of soy. As I know some people have become wary of its possible side effects, replacing the edamame with garbanzo, black, or cannelini beans might be a tasty alternative. Make this salad, clean out your fridge, and go be creative!